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February 2011
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April 2011

Refocusing

The effort of refocusing has also included spinning.  It isn't acceptable to allow my poor wheels, Miss Emmylou and dear Corina, to sit and gather cobwebs. Spinning was tearing through Blogland in 2005 and many bloggers bought wheels (if they didn't have one already). 

My first spinning tool (I caved in 2006) was a spindle and I figured if I could spin on it, and enjoy the process, buying a wheel would be worthwhile. I bought Emmylou in 2007 and there have been times I've questioned the sanity of spinning, of owning a wheel, and of continuing the process but, when it gets right down to it, spinning is a craft I enjoy.

Grayhandspuncloseup

Shortly after I finished the Sunset Roving I turned, with concerted effort, to the gray batt.  The fuzziness made tearing into strips difficult, as the fiber wondered in every direction. To help with this annoying problem, I tamed it (to some degree) by pulling the strip through a diz. The day I finished spinning the second bobbin was a very happy day.

Whatabeautifulsheenyouhave

Plying took a days of extra focus but, while working through the process I could see, right through the fuzzy halo, the beauty of the yarn and its elegant sheen. I washed the yarn in hot water and agitated it just a bit. Oh the dirt! The yarn softened and kept its glow, as the water turned black with filth.  The sleeping beauty awakens.

This yarn has a future as something more.


BreakThrough

Do you remember the last time you saw any knitting on this blog?  Knitting is happening, although I have not been sharing my progress.  I'm rather pleased with the results and the long-suffering Henley is on the verge of completion.  Each attempt at photographing the evidence has produced less than quality proof of life. However, you've already seen the beautiful blue fabric, with cabled twists and lacy bits, and it looks much the same.

Bluehenleytwists

The front, back and one sleeve needed to be shortened (by several inches) as they grew more than I'd expected when blocked. Ripping back nearly broke my heart but, it was therapeutic and the process of recreation put me back on track. This sweater may yet become a reality.

I've been working on breaking through this fog and ennui for a year and half.  Getting back to normal has been a roller coaster ride, a ride where what's coming can't be seen, and I've had to hang on and go where it takes me.  Forward movement has been in tiny steps. 

In some ways, I've been hard on myself and, in other ways, I've been self-indulgent.  Pushing oneself, asking a little more each day, can build character and strength. I haven't pushed, haven't asked for more and, because of that, I feel my growth has been slowed. 

Recently, I decided to make a renewed effort at focus.  I knew if I worked on this project, and no other, I could make progress and, while knitting has been very, very slow, focus has payed off.  Finally knitting of Henley is finished, the process of seaming and finishing will soon begin. You have no idea how good this feels.


Just Another Monday

First of all, my Millie (and the other chickengrrls) wants to say "hello!".  They have felt a little neglected and wanted to make sure I knew they were still photogenic enough for a knitting blog. I assured them they were.

Mygrrlmilly
Isn't she a pretty redhead?

The weekend was the usual back and forthing between spring and winter (sprinter), and with several blue sky moments it was hard to complain (much). Saturday, and Sunday both, I was able to take a walk and see my favorite view. The only difference between them was a pure white mountain on Sunday.

Ablueskymomentsat
Saturday's sky was amazing

Spring is trying with all her might to beat out winter and she's leaving tell-tail signs everywhere.  While walking I heard the sounds of children playing outdoors and their joyful shouting made me smile. Various bird songs (including a red-winged blackbird!), reminded me mating season may already be in full swing.  Trees are starting to leaf and blossom. Soon the little birds will have privacy for their homes and babes.

  Zbrancheswithblossoms

Daffodils, jonquils, violets and an occasional tulip, have started their spring show.  Nothing can stop the signs, even though, the next day everything was covered with snow.  Recovery is quick.


Growing

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace." ~ May Sarton

Majesticsky

One day of sunny weather does not spring make, however, it gave us the chance to plant a few seedlings in the garden.  Peas, onions, and broccoli, along with seeds of several lettuces, have now been sown.  We're ripe with expectation!

Apairofpeas

It's Women's History Month and I'm following in Kym's footsteps by sharing some of my favorite quotes by women.


It's Yarn!

Skeinofsunset

This simple little skein was created with more thought to the process than to grist. The yarn has a rustic quality but, tucked within the strands, is a touch of elegance. As Susan would say, it has "moments of brilliance".

The main focus was to spin, become reacquainted with the process and, in the end, enjoy a finished product. I accomplished just that and I am so please with my simple skein. It's around 260 yds, mostly a DKish weight and it's soft, soft, soft. At this time I'm just going to admire and appreciate it for what it is...a piece of simple rustic art.

Handspunsunset

This year I like to learn to make better yarn, not necessarily perfect yarn. I'd like to see where the process takes me, and how my view of it changes, as I find my way back. A skein of yarn can be the end result or the beginning of something else. The possibilities are limitless.


Spring, Where Art Thou?

"Spring" is getting to me.  It's not that I expect March to be winter free, but I did expect a few days of sun.  Just a day here and there, warm enough to open windows, to hear the bird song, and see sunshine on the new flowers.   It's snowing and, I confess, I'm allowing it to bug me. 

Here I am, in the midst of bad weather, wishing my life away!  I am not going with the process of life or accepting what IS now.  I am bugged, and I do not feel happy. It is not right and I must get my head in a better place.

This morning an email came from a blogreader and it almost made me cry. She let me know that one of my blog posts had helped her and, while knowing that certainly made me feel good, her words also brought me up short.  Her note reminded me to respect every day as part of the process of life and, by wishing for something different, I have been wishing my life away.  She helped me change my mindset, or at least, start the process of change.

The snow is quite beautiful if I look and ponder. It slowly falls in a wintry mix too wet to stick to anything.  That's the thing...it's a spring snow shower and it won't amount to much.  I must not allow it to get to me and I should appreciate today for what it is, which is as much a part of my life as the sunny, warm days I crave. They will come. 


Advantages

Dressing up is a bore. At a certain age, you decorate yourself to attract the opposite sex, and at a certain age, I did that. But I'm past that age. ~ Katherine Hepburn

Justmeitsme
I could have smiled! 

It's Women's History Month and I'm following in Kym's footsteps by sharing some of my favorite quotes by women.


It was a Dark and Dreary Night

Susan brought a big bag full of Trader Joe's gluten free goodies back from her recent trip to Vegas.  We do not, and will not ever, have a Trader Joe's, which makes the gift all the better.  I'm eating Roasted Seaweed Snacks and they're quite good.  Norma should approve. 

Speaking of Norma...she's doing the Couch to 5K thing.  I'm impressed, awed, and wondering if I should do something, too.  I'm not sure jogging would be good for my body.  I have no desire to run, or even jog, but the brisk walk sounds good. Maybe I can do it.  

This morning I woke at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I started my walked at 4:00am and the moon kept me company, as it peeked through the clouds. Every morning I walk about 2 miles. Walking at a brisk pace, in intervals, made my walk more interesting and, actually, fun. Norma may be on to something.  I didn't see the usual suspects, who are up and about 5:00am (my usual walking time), because by then I was back inside spinning (plying)!  Getting up in middle of the night may be the secret to getting more done in a day. (yawn)

Maxindoggyspa

Today is rainy and dreary and we may not see much of the sun this week (one reason I have no knitting progress pictures).  The last sunny day, which was Saturday, Max and I enjoyed time on the patio.  I've heard black stone massages are quite the rage, and Max makes sure to enjoy his doggy spa as often as possible.


Perfection Continued

Thank you for your kind and generous birthday wishes. You made a perfect day even more perfect. I feel truly blessed to have many wonderful friends both IRL and virtual. Thank you!

The fabulous, fun weekend continued through yesterday as Cheryl, her hubby L., Smith and I headed to Silver Fork for breakfast.  A few snow flurries made it seem like winter, even though the temperatures were more like spring. 

Cherylsmittsatsilverfork
Can you see my cool mitts? Cheryl knit them using Sherpherd's Wool and Susan's pattern.  They're warm, soft, and cushy perfection!  We were so happy to have be in the mountains and can't wait to go back, whether rain or shine.

The afternoon was spent with the calming relaxation technique of knitting and movie watching as the day was rather gray. And then, the doorbell rang and a package appeared on the doorstep (my postman only rings once).

I'd been forewarned of a conspiracy between Cookie and Joan, and while I already had already seen what Joan had up her sleeve, I was utterly shocked to find a beautiful shawlRav_linkredyarnball, a big beautiful shawl, tucked inside the package from Cookie. 

Cookieloveshawl
(click for a better view)

I have been verklempt all weekend, because of the generosity of friends, and as I wrapped the shawl around me I nearly burst into tears.  Joan's handspun and Cookie's shawl, made from handspun, have made this a birthday to remember.  I feel humbled and very, very loved.  Right after the shawl arrived the sky cleared and the sun broke through.  Cookie has the power to bring sunshine into my life, just as Joan did.  They are quite the duo.


Perfection

Everyone on the planet should be as fortunate as I.  This long weekend was perfection. (I took Friday and Monday off...yay!)

Friday we spent the day running errands (to ensure the rest of the weekend was errand free), including reintroducing our poor shaggy heads to barber's shears. Can I tell you how much I love my new cut? A TON!  (I proudly wear my gray!)

Mysorryhead
We stopped by our favorite grocer (more errands) and, right on cue, they had daffodils on sale.  Our bedroom is now adorned with a big bouquet of yellow perfection.

Yellowdaffies
Saturday turned out to be gray and dreary, with a spot of rain here and there, but the mail brought a big surpise, one I hardly feel I deserve, a beautifully blue handspun yarn from Joan!!  It was all I could do to keep from weeping when I opened the package.  It's handspun, folks! HANDSPUN and it's called UTAH SKIES! Handspun is perfection, no matter its flaws, and believe me, there are few flaws in this elegant yarn.

Yarnlookslikesky
Joan also sent fluff (her goreous batts!), and chocolate, which I will show you later but, for the moment, I am blinded by the blue.

As if commanded by the Fairy God Knitter herself, the clouds were banished and the blue skies arrived with Sunday's dawn.  I wish I had Joan's power.

Myblueskyonsunday

Yes, our sky really is that color and while Sunday was the only day to be beautifully blue, it was enough. 

Today we're venturing to Silver Fork, a place we once called our favorite spot. The owner promised he could safely make me a gluten free breakfast and I'm taking him at his word. I told you this weekend was perfection.